Running older software on iMac Intel

Discussion in 'macOS' started by 23skidoo, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. 23skidoo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    #1
    Hi all

    After 5 years of PC purgatory I rejoined the Mac world today by buying a 20-inch iMac Intel. It's a great machine, but I am disappointed in one aspect.

    Prior to my work-demanded switch to PC (which coincided with my Mac Power PC dying, as it happened) I spent lots of money on games and other software for the machine -- System 7.5 etc.

    Unfortunately, of course the OS that comes with the iMac doesn't run these programs.

    This wasn't a surprise, of course, as I'd heard grumblings about OSX -- or certainly the Intel Macs -- losing backwards compatability. But still, I have about $1,000 worth of half-decent games that for nostalgia's sake if nothing else, I'd like to be able to play again. And I have some other non-game software that has not been recreated in any later formats, or even XP.

    So my question to the forum is: is there any sort of program, an emulator or just a shell program, that can be used to allow System 7 and 8 programs to run in the Intel environment? I did a little searching around and saw references to programs like SheepShaver and Basilisk II, but the info I saw was murky at best as to whether these programs themselves will work on iMac Intels. And there's also reference to having to use a "Classic Mac Rom" and I have no idea how I would go about getting one or what I would do with it if I did.

    I ask this question with a little hesitancy as I have had people literally poke fun at me for wanting to play "outdated" games and what have you ... but I make no apologies for wanting to be able to use software I paid good money for. Surely a machine that has a built in camera (sigh -- all that money so I can take a picture of myself looking like Zippy the Pinhead :D ) can handle a game like Dust: A Tale of the Wired West or the Star Trek TNG Companion

    Thanks for any suggestions.

    Cheers!

    Alex
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    Sorry mate, but I really think your best option's to buy a cheap OS 9-booting machine like one of the G4 Power Macs. Emulating OS 9 (or earlier) over Rosetta would be a ridiculous resource hog.
     
  3. 23skidoo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    #3
    I'm not running a server. It would be welcome to use 100% of available resources so long as it works. I like my iMac, really I do, but at the same time it's the epitome of disposible culture. It's one of the reasons I will never purchase an e-Book because I simply don't want to take the chance of this happening to it.

    I can't believe that a machine that a few years ago would have legally been defined as a supercomputer (might well still be for all I know) doesn't have some sort of program available to emulate earlier machines. :rolleyes:

    And I just found out that it's apparently "impossible" to make screen captures from DVDs as well on the new iMacs. What's up with that?

    Cheers

    Alex
     
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #4
    There are some emulators you can explore, but most of the ones I know are more geared at emulating System 7/8 on 68k hardware and not on a PPC... so they may or may not cooperate with your games. Have you considered perhaps the option of looking for an old powerbook or somesuch as a treat to yourself? I'm sure you wouldn't have to spend more than $100 to get a platform that would play games designed for System 7 or 8 and what I assume is a PPC 601 or perhaps 603e at the latest?

    An example site with respect to virtualization: http://uneasysilence.com/archive/2006/08/7352/
     
  5. Dave00 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    #5
    Emulation of older system ("Classic" environment) was unfortunately eliminated with the switch to Intel. If you had purchased on iMac G5, you'd still be able to run the old programs. One option might be to purchase a G4 cube (wouldn't clutter up your workspace too much) and try to run the video through your iMac.

    It is a frustrating issue with the older games/applications, which in many cases were much better than their current-day counterparts. It would seem that an old game designed to run on an Atari should have no problem running on a much more powerful system, but the problem is the instruction sets are different. I'd love to be able to play Qbert or Frogger or Space Invaders (in their original form, not a similar game) on my iMac, but the solutions aren't that simple. One of the reasons I haven't switched to intel is I still run SuperPaint all the time.

    Dave
     
  6. 23skidoo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    #6
    I just dropped 2 grand on this machine (including software), so I'm not exactly in a position or mood to drop more. I probably should have bought a lower-end Mac but the problem is once the Intel machines came in the local dealer basically threw their non-Intel machines into the garbage. Which I guess is going to be the fate of all the old software I have. And it's not really worth shelling out money for another machine just so I can do screen captures off my DVDs if the iMac lacks this ability.

    I guess I'll have to keep my 300Mhz Pentium II PC going after all. :mad:

    Cheers

    Alex
     
  7. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #7
    Sheepshaver has been Universal Binary since May, although never having used it on an Intel Mac I can't comment on the performance. The Classic ROM can be obtained from Apple's own website (search for ROM Update). However, the only program I know that can extract the ROM from the download runs in Classic, so you'll need to find someone with a PowerPC Mac to do that one thing for you.
     
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #8
    Sheepsaver is also free... of course, you'd know that if you actually read my post. :rolleyes: The link I provided even provides you instructions on how to get the ROM without having to use a PPC computer. It's right there in plain English.

    I'm sorry you're frustrated...but come on. This is like buying a Wii and complaining that you have a stack of NES games that you can't play. Except it's even more ridiculous because you're talking about a computer and not a video game console.

    If you want to play them, why are you unwilling to explore the emulation options?
     
  9. DZ/015 macrumors 6502a

    DZ/015

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    New England
    #9
    Nothing beats the original hardware. Check craigslist for your area. I frequently find tons of old hardware there for free. Recently, I picked up 3 Quadra 630s, 1 AWS 6150, an LC and an LC III with keyboards, mice and monitors for nothing other than my time.

    I'm in Marathon and Doom II heaven.
     
  10. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #10
    I have OS 9 running in SheepShaver on my Intel iMac. I had followed the steps in the article mkrishnan pointed to. I just did it to see if I could. And I came to Macs late so never used pre-OSX Macs, and was curious.

    The GUI seems quite snappy when you add enough memory, but I don't have any software to run on it so I can't tell you how good its performance really is.

    If you go this route, you'll need a retail OS 9 install disk. I borrowed mine from a friend who wasn't using it any more.
     
  11. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #11
    I ought to give Sheepshaver a try - although I'd have to find System 9 somewhere (I hate buying off eBay, but I imagine that's the only place one can get it anymore).

    I have run Mini vMac with System 7.5.3 (I think) to play some really old-school Mac games that, for some reason, I still find absurdly fun. Maybe because I never managed to beat Scarab of Ra back when I played it on a friend's computer in the 90s. :D
     

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